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Old 12-11-2011, 03:13 PM
 
20 posts, read 46,370 times
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I'm just curious, I live in a Town House that I've purchased. Currently, during the day it's set at 72. I'm starting to suspect that the insulation in the house isn't the best. I have 3 floors with a 2 car garage On the first/basement floor it's usually really cold ( I believe because of the concrete foundation) on the main level, just above the garage, there in the corners where the baseboard meets the carpet.. you can feel a slight draft whether the Heater is on or not.

The wall is cold to the touch. Any ideas?
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Old 12-11-2011, 03:34 PM
 
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insulate your garage........
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Old 12-11-2011, 03:36 PM
 
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My parents own a townhouse which sounds identical to yours. First off, know that 3-level townhomes with one zone HVAC (only in the basement) aren't going to heat/cool efficiently. Secondly, I had the builder of my home tell me that he is LOATHE to put living spaces over garages. They just never get warm.

I have a 2400 square foot house. Part of my bathroom is over the garage. Yes, the floor is cold there. I've never felt my home was well insulated. When we had our siding replaced, we added thick foam board under it. It didn't help at all. The darn house is just drafty.

I lived in an all brick townhome with heavy, wood windows before I moved here. It was so nice and toasty (no garage). The summer was a bear on the top level but that was my only complaint.
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Old 12-11-2011, 08:15 PM
 
Location: NoVA
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I will no longer be sad that my townhome has no garage .
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Old 12-11-2011, 09:21 PM
 
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there are companies that will come out and take infrared pictures of your house that will show you what areas are letting in cold air, what areas need more insulation, etc.

If you don't already one get a programmable thermostat and have it set to turn down the temp while you are sleeping or at work.
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Old 12-12-2011, 06:02 AM
 
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Perfect... thank you all for your suggestions.
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Old 12-12-2011, 08:05 AM
 
Location: Loudoun County, VA
1,148 posts, read 3,594,915 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boyd888 View Post
there are companies that will come out and take infrared pictures of your house that will show you what areas are letting in cold air, what areas need more insulation, etc.

If you don't already one get a programmable thermostat and have it set to turn down the temp while you are sleeping or at work.
Can you mention some of these companies? I'd be interested in this type of service. Thanks!
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:05 AM
 
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The TH I used to live in had the same set up. We did have a setting on our vents where we could switch to Winter or summer settings - open up the flow upstairs in the summer, close it in the winter. The basement room never got really warm, but it did allow for the main level to be more comfortable.

I have found that the houses around here are poorly built/insulated in general. If it was part of a massive build like mine - they were just slapped up to meet the need for housing. We have move into a SFH and it is freezing on the main floor where the windows are, hot on the top, even though the vents are closed up there. The basement is actually nice if somewhat warm, compared to normal basements. This makes me believe it is the windows, beautiful, but terriblly built. Thinking about doing what I did in college - get out the plastice shrink wrap stuff. Didn't think that would be necessary in a $850K house. We rent it - so replacing the windows isn't going to happen.
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:38 AM
 
Location: In the woods
3,315 posts, read 9,698,497 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by talentous View Post
I'm just curious, I live in a Town House that I've purchased. Currently, during the day it's set at 72.
My [former] townhouse in Loudoun Co had a similar set up -- 3 flrs, 1-car garage, etc. It was always cold especially for an interior unit. I set it between 68-72 and it always seemed drafty. I figured the builders did a lousy job on insulating the exterior walls.

My new-old (1930s) house in Winchester is cold but that's expected - single-pane windows but some have the storm windows (and we're getting more). Plaster walls and solid brick outside. It is at 58 degrees right now but doesn't feel that cold. We have a natural gas boiler and radiator system. We supplement the rooms with those electric oil-filled heaters.
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:09 AM
 
1,297 posts, read 2,252,890 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EuroExpat View Post
Can you mention some of these companies? I'd be interested in this type of service. Thanks!
What you are looking for is typically called an energy audit.

Two near Fairfax companies I found on google are:

VA Leaky Windows | Virginia High Energy Bills | Fairfax Energy Audit | Arlington Home Energy Audit | Blower Door Alexandria
Solar Panels, Energy Audits, Energy Efficiency Upgrades by Continuum Energy Solutions in the Washington DC, Virginia and Maryland areas

I have never had an energy audit done so I can't vouch for their services. If you put your location into google maps and do a search for "energy audit" you'll find more companies.

Keep in mind that having an energy audit is like taking your car to the dealership and asking "what work does it need done" so expect whoever does the audit to want to do some upgrades to your home. If you just want the audit be prepared to turn them down.
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